ista International GmbH opts for a networked and centrally controlled communications structure.

A cutting-edge communications structure improves service quality and simplifies processes.

With its 25 branch offices, ista Deutschland GmbH is one of the largest corporate entities within the ista International GmbH global network. While in the past the organizational structure of ista meant that each site operated its own, independent communications unit, including call centers, this was out of step with the company’s ongoing international growth. From the perspective of the business, the flexible distribution of processes across all sites was no longer viable. In mid-2013, ista International GmbH began planning the redesign of their entire communications structure. With a view to improving business and service processes as well as simplifying administration, the company put out to tender the provision of a centralized communications structure with call center processes that would permit the flexible assignment of service processes in August 2013. IP Dynamics, who had already successfully acted as an interim service partner supporting the previous solution at ista International GmbH, was awarded the contract. In addition to the considerable expertise in delivering communications on this scale, other deciding factors that won IP Dynamics the job included the quality of managed services provided and the company’s willingness to implement further international projects for ista International GmbH.

„The package IP Dynamics was offering and their planned implementation of the project ticked all the boxes for us. What’s more, their extensive experience was a compelling reason to collaborate with them on this highly complex project,“ says Andreas Obländer, IT Service Manager and Project Manager at ista International GmbH.

In April 2014, the five-member project team from IP Dynamics started to roll out the following aspects of the project:

  • Voice over IP-based telecommunications systems
  • Upgrading the existing LAN / WAN network components (voice readiness)
  • Centralized communications center solution (call center)
  • IP-based, centralized fax server solution
  • Integration of a flexible video conferencing system

First, the communications structure’s central components were set up in an external data center at the Ulm branch of ista International GmbH. Next, a team comprising a number of systems specialists from the relevant units and spearheaded by the project management team was formed to execute the rollout to the 27 ista telephone locations as well as a site in Poland. IP Dynamics completed work on a location per week. With the result that a total of 2,400 PBX ports, including new terminals and 1,300 call center agents, were operational by mid-December 2014. Not only were all sites simultane-ously equipped with new power over Ethernet (PoE) infrastructure but the entire rollout and switch-over was also accomplishedwithout any interruptions to daily business at ista International GmbH.

The advantages of the new structure are undeniable. Central administration streamlines internal as well as external processes while the call center provides a single Group-wide solution that facilitates flexible, service-oriented decision-making at the operational level. According to Andreas Obländer, state-of-theart telephony functions, such as seamless switching from a landline to a mobile phone and vice versa, plus a one-number system, are boosting loyalty among ista customers.

What made the implementation of the project so successful?
The excellent working relationship between IP Dynamics GmbH and ista International GmbH can arguably be attributed to the size of IP Dynamics as a company. Andreas Obländer certainly thinks so: “As an IP Dynamics customer, I am always taken seriously and my business is valued. With larger service providers you sometimes get the feeling that you’re just one of many. The fact that both companies have flat organizational structures also helped build a high level of mutual trust.” Andreas Obländer is especially complimentary of the collaborative spirit shown by IP Dynamics.

„In the project management and rollout teams, IP Dynamics and ista In ternational staff worked hand in glove. Whenever necessary – for instance when specialized questions arose – the team consulted with other experts. „Everyone contributed on an equal footing,“ says Andreas Obländer.

Appointed by IP Dynamics, project manager Andre Günther successfully steered all processes to completion. „All relevant issues were discussed in our regular status calls and I was kept up to speed on the project at all times. In the few cases where there were delays, the team soon found practical solutions. Any deviations from thespecifications were just as quickly and flexibly brought back into line.“

As of January 2015, IP Dynamics GmbH has been running the entire new communications structure for the German operations of ista International GmbH as a managed service in accordance with ITIL standards.

In December 2013, the system was introduced in the Luxembourg office and plans for the rollout in additional ista corporate locations outside Germany – in France, Switzerland and Italy – are already in the pipeline.